Review: Homeownership Fair - Good and Bad
The Green Girlfriend and I went to the Arlington County Homeownership Fair on Saturday March 24th at Patrick Henry Elementary School, organized by the county and Arlington Home Ownership Made Easier (AHOME). In the interest of balance, I'm going with lists on this review.
WHAT WAS GOOD
- It was really cool to learn about all the programs Arlington and the state offer for low-to-moderate income people to buy homes, especially for first-time home buyers. Thinking of trying to come up with six figures to buy a house or condo is daunting, but knowing that it's possible to get a low-interest loan for up to 104% of the value makes it seem much more within reach.
- It was great to see that there are so many friendly people working to make sure low-income and first-time homebuyers understand and can navigate the process. As someone without much in savings and who grew up in rented apartments, the home buying process seems cold and daunting. Just knowing there's a support system makes things seem doable.
- They had a nice door prize of $500 toward down payment and closing costs.
WHAT COULD'VE BEEN BETTER
- Events like this should have a giant disclaimer on any of the publicity that says, "IF YOU'RE INTERNET SAVVY, NO NEED TO COME TO THIS. YOU CAN LEARN ALL THIS AT HOME IN YOUR PJS WHILE DRINKING COFFEE. THANKS!"
- The event website just said the event ran from 9:30am to 1pm, so we weren't sure if it was "stop by anytime between 9:30 and 1" or "we have seminars running the whole time that start at 9:30." So we went at 9:30 just to be on the safe side. Bad idea. The only seminar didn't start until 10:30am and the door prize raffle wasn't until 12:30pm, and you had to be there to win it. So we wandered around for 10 minutes and were back in our car by 9:40am.
- When we left, there were still exhibitors coming in to get set up. I talked to one who'd come all the way from Richmond, so it was understandable. But especially when the seminar doesn't start until 10:30am, why force exhibitors to try to get there at 9:30am? Why not just start it at 10am?